(GALLATIN, Mo.) To be the best, you have to beat the best. Gallatin native Brice Garnett earned that opportunity in 2013.
"I've been working hard my whole professional career to get to this stage. I'm going to have a PGA Tour card in my pocket and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it," Garnett said in August as he wrapped up his time on the Web.com Tour.
The Missouri Western alumnus turned pro back in 2006, and now seven years later he is the first Griffon to earn his way on to the PGA Tour.
"He worked very hard at it, played the mini tours and did all that, so you knew the opportunity was there. You knew he could do it," former Missouri Western golf coach Mike Habermehl said.
Garnett's played in four events along the tour so far, and made the cut in three of them. He's now getting ready for the Sony Open in Hawaii January 9th.
"It was actually a very easy transition," he said of jumping up to the PGA. "It's just been fun. It's been new golf courses, new cities, new venues and it's been great to get out there and mix it up with the guys I kind of idolized my whole life growing up."
Now playing alongside the best golfers in the world on the best courses, Garnett's feeling more comfortable each time out.
To become a serious contender, though, he belives his short game will have to improve.
"From a golfer's aspect, I have to get a little bit better chipping and putting. Those guys out there save shots so much by just getting up and down in difficult situations when they miss a shot."
Garnett's best finish on the tour through four tournaments is 36th in the McGladrey Classic, and he's played five rounds of three-under or better. As he enters his first full year with the PGA, the golfer from Missouri Western is hoping to continue his climb up the ranks.
"The more comfortable I get on the PGA Tour, the more I just look to be in contention a little bit more and challenge for some championships. It's a big fight for the professional golfer just to feel comfortable coming down the stretch in the heat of the moment, and that's all based on experiences."